Following a breakdown of talks between the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Cricket Australia (CA), the chairman of PCB claims that England is open to playing cricket in Pakistan in the near future.
England is scheduled to play in Pakistan in 2022 and PCB wants to hold the series in Pakistan rather than a neutral venue.
If PCB’s efforts are successful then this will be the first time England will play an international match in Pakistan since 2005.
Talking to an international sports organization, Ehsan Mani said:
I expect England will be totally open discussing it further, but there’s a whole process they have to go through. When we play our next home series against England, they will have sufficient time to carry out their own assessment. I would never ever consider inviting someone unless it was absolutely safe for them.
Ehsan Mani is due to meet Colin Graves, the England and Wales Cricket Board chairman, in Dubai, later this month. According to reports, the meeting is set up to ‘open a dialogue about a tour, rather than a formal invitation.’
They will carry out their own assessments. We’ll talk to them about any concerns they have, if any, and how we can deal with those, before any formal invitations go out. Everyone has to be comfortable.
After failed talks with Australia, PCB remains confident that Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will visit Pakistan in the next 12 months, which will finally resume international cricket within the country.
“People’s perceptions have to be changed,” Mani said. “People have to see for themselves what the ground realities are and obviously a security assessment has to be done. These things don’t happen overnight but we’re working with a number of boards to try and get the message across.”
The PCB has estimated a total loss of $100 million due to lack of international cricket in Pakistan, which includes reduced ticket revenue and advertising. Furthermore, it also takes into the account the cost of team playing its home matches in UAE, where Pakistan has to pay $50,000 per day to rent the stadiums.